The October Product Review That Wasn’t: A Tale of Lost Love & QVC

Once upon a time there was a fashion and beauty blogger who loved It Cosmetics.  One day, QVC sent her an email about an advance order for the 5 piece It Cosmetics Holiday kit with two brand new products that were exclusive to QVC until 2015.  Our blogger immediately thought, “This is perfect for my October product review!   And this is the perfect birthday treat for myself.  Plus I can use it on my upcoming mini vacation!  This is all so perfect!”

A long, long work week goes by.  It’s Friday, almost 8 PM when our blogger arrives home.  It’s been about a 2 and a hour round trip commute and a long week of working in a dungeon basement filling out government forms and doing word problems.  She eyes the QVC delivery box in the vestibule of her apartment.  A smile crosses her lips, but then she realizes it’s the wrong shape.  From the pictures online the kit is a square gift box and this is a rectangle.  “Maybe I’m wrong,” she thinks.  “Maybe they package it differently when they send it.”

So she opens the box and instead of this lovely kit:
It Cosmetics
.30-oz Celebration Foundation Illumination in Fair, Light, Medium, Tan, or Rich
0.33-fl oz Hello Lashes! Extensions Mascara in Black
0.17-oz No Tug Waterproof Gel Eyeliner in Black/Brown
0.38-oz CC+ Radiance Ombre Blush in Je Ne Sais Quoi, a soft pink shade
Heavenly Luxe Double Airbrush Foundation Brush
Hello Lashes! Extensions Mascara and CC+ Radiance Ombre Blush are exclusive to QVC until 12/31/14

She receives this:
Wen
A gasp emerges from her lips.  “It cannot be!  Not Wen!  Anything but Wen!”
You see of all the beauty products in the whole wide world, Wen was the one she despised the most.  She’d tried the fig version long long ago and it had not only made her long hair smell like rotten bananas, but had ruined the texture so much she opted to chop it all off and start over.  Encased in this wrong size box was 32 oz of liquid mockery.  It seemed that Wen had managed to win yet another battle in their beauty war.

Cue a frantic call to QVC’s customer service.  Our blogger spent approximately 5 minutes trying to navigate their recorded menu which sadly did not offer a :”You sent me the most horrible thing ever instead of what I ordered” option.  Eventually she gives up and just starts pushing the operator button over and over.  Approximately 10 minutes after that she gets connected to Richard in customer service. With disinterest, he tells her that the kit is now “sold out” and then proceeds to tell her how to return the evil Wen conditioner.   She is understandably upset, but keeps it together until she asks about her refund.  Then the knave Richard, states that she won’t get a refund until they receive the Wen.  You know that awful product that she hates and  never ordered! She now has to go to the post office/UPS and wait for it to be returned and processed before they will give her a refund.  What evil magic is this?  They were holding her hard earned basement money hostage until she fixed their terrible mistake.  She requested to speak to a supervisor but none were available.

Now our blogger is angry.  She hangs up with QVC and proceeds to go to social media to unearth this treachery.   She posts on the QVC page about her disappointment and quickly gets a response from the conscientious social media team member, Beth.  She asks the blogger to email her with details on the problem.  The blogger does and receives a response from the lovely Brittany.  Brittany apologizes and reiterates the unfortunate news that there is no more stock of this kit.  It seems our story has had a tragic ending and our blogger has lost her beloved It Cosmetics kit.  Brittany lightens this cutting blow by stating that the blogger’s money has been refunded, that she doesn’t need to return the Wen conditioner and that she’s been given a $25.00 store credit that she can perhaps use toward a different product to review.

So folks as you can guess, I am that blogger.  And sadly, you are the guys who won’t get a review of what looked like an awesome kit.

I am torn on my feelings about this particular incident.   It seems to encompass both the best and worst customer service. I appreciate how quickly and thoroughly the customer service team kicked in after my post on their Facebook page.  But, I can’t forget how useless and unapologetic their original customer service was.  Customers shouldn’t have to go to social media to get their problems addressed.  This wasn’t just an average QVC order – it was an advance order that included products exclusive to QVC, and from some comments on social media it seems a few other unlucky customers had the same issue I did.  I would have gladly emailed photos if they needed proof of the mixup before they could issue my refund.

I have the Wen product all packaged up so I may still return it depending upon whether I can get to a post office/UPS before they close and whether I can think of someone who really loves the stuff.

Hopefully QVC will offer another It Cosmetics kit with these exclusive items and then I can nab it and review it for you guys..

Would you have been upset at being asked to return an unordered product before receiving your refund, or do you think it’s par for the course with online ordering?

What are your  most positive and negative customer service experiences?  Please Share!

Once upon a time, long, long ago, Lisa attended Syracuse University where she studied singing in a giant castle surrounded by ice and snow. After she earned her music degree, she headed to the island of Manhattan, down to the West Village, to a place called the New School. There, she earned another degree in the great art of writing stories for children. She currently works on that same island trying to help real people, while making up stories about imaginary ones. Her first book, “The Ice Maiden’s Tale,” a fairy tale adventure, was released on May 30, 2017 and is up for sale on Amazon. In the meantime, she keeps herself occupied by obsessing over subscription boxes and home renovations.

16 thoughts on “The October Product Review That Wasn’t: A Tale of Lost Love & QVC

  1. It was their screwup, so I would expect not to be out any more effort until I’ve gotten my money back.

    I totally agree with you that it shouldn’t take resorting to a business’s social media platforms to get customer service issues taken care of, either. Especially not for a mistake of this magnitude.

    • I use the social media thing as a last resort. I do most of my shopping online so I get a ton of orders. Nearly every time the company that made the mistake goes out of their way to make it right. Only twice this year can I think of times I had to go to social media or dispute things with my bank. I was surprised that a company as well-established and large as QVC wouldn’t immediately issue a refund.

  2. How frustrating! Why would they even reach out to you if they didn’t have enough boxes to send out?! At least replace it with items that are in the same makeup or brand category. Customer service will make or break a company.

    • I’m sure that when I ordered they did have enough boxes. They just sent me the wrong thing and now nothing else is in stock. Either they sent some a Wen person my kit or they oversold it after the fact.

  3. Amazon didn’t refund my money until they received the return but they make returns easy…they schedule UPS to pick it up at your door for free.

    Julep offered a nail polish of my choice for free and I kept their mistake.

    My Birchbox eye-shadow purchase was damaged. They are sending a replacement for free…I keep the damaged one …and they gave me 10 birchbox points.

    Sounds like Richard was lazy or sticking to a script that didn’t really fit the problem needing resolution. Thank goodness for social media 🙂

    • I’ve had package problems with all the folks you mentioned and every one of them did a fabulous job of correcting the problem. For months Julep sent me incorrect orders, but the apologized and fixed the problem asap. I’m fine with mistakes, it’s really just how you handle them that makes the difference.

      QVC needs to tell its front line customer service people that unique situations need to be handled by customer service specialists that can depart from the “script”. It’s really wonderful that social media is in place so that these problems can get brought to the attention of folks that can do something about it.

  4. I would have been furious!! I work in customer service so bad customer service pisses me off. On the other hand I’ve never tried wen and been wanting to for a while. But you should never have to go to social media just to get good customer service. .. that is major bs

  5. I would have been furious!! I work in customer service and so bad service makes me infuriated because no matter how bad a day I am having I work to make my customers happy so I think other customer service people should too. As this was their mistake they should have taken care of it as quickly and efficiently as possible. You should never have had to resort to social media to get good service. On the other hand I’ve been wanting to try wen for years

  6. I would have been so upset. I would have called and posted on social media as well – if the call did not produce a fair and reasonable resolution.

    BTW, everyone that tells me that they use Wen has horrible split ends.

    • I have oily roots and I thought trying Wen might help. Instead it made my roots even more oily and the rest of my hair super dry. I don’t heat style my hair often nor do I color it. It is never dry like that. I tried a ton of other shampoos but it just stayed terrible so I chopped it all off into a bob. I know people swear by the stuff but it was terrible for me.

  7. Well, I happen to love Wen, but that’s not what we are talking about….First, it’s not even legal for them to refuse a refund on an item you did not purchase. I implore you to research your State’s individual laws regarding situations like this, but a quick visit to the Attorney General’s webpage and Consumer Protection should clear up any confusion on this…Second, it’s just bad business. And third, I have experienced the same problem multiple times in recent months at QVC…opening a package expecting to find a couture brand jacket, only to find a bag o’ Genie bras….and without a doubt, my beautiful jacket was never recovered and it was sold out…Their Social Team is FABULOUS…their customer service call center reps have been declining for the past 2 years. As a long time customer, it saddens and frustrates me…One should not have to go to great lengths to right a wrong that a retailer imposed on THEM…You are not even obligated to return the unfortunate bottle of Wen…They should be happy if you return the item, because how often do you think a random order ends up in the hands of a non QVC customer? I’m sure they would not have a legal leg to stand on if they attempted to hold responsible the intended customer to pay for the item they did not receive, and had been charged for. Nor would they track down the mistaken recipient and demand the return of the merchandise. That, my friends, is why they have insurance! In essence, they illegally tried to extort you for your honesty. You never had to say ‘I got a bottle of Wen instead of my It! TSV’…you simply could have said, ‘I never got my TSV’…..The whole thing is wrong….QVC needs to remember who breads their butter…

    • I think an earlier commenter hit the nail on the head when they said the original customer service rep was just sticking to a script and had no idea how to handle an unusual situation. The social media folks realized the error very quickly so hopefully they’ll start teaching the front line customer service folks a little more about how to deal with the mistakes they don’t have written answers for.

  8. I own an a company that has a web store and if we sent the wrong item (it happens), our policy is to send the right item immediately with a return packing slip in the box so they can return the wrong item. We have never been out of what the customer needed, but if that happened, we would issue a full refund then and there, no questions asked, and let the customer keep what they received if they wanted. It’s important to have great customer service, if you don’t, the customer won’t ever shop with you again! Quality customer service is just as important as the actual product itself! I agree, you should never have to resort to social media to get someone to help you! I’m sorry you didn’t get your makeup set. 😦

    • Thanks so much. They may restock the kit so there’s a small chance I can still get it. 🙂

      It sounds like your store had great customer service. It’s really rare that I encounter companies with lackluster customer service. Most are wonderful.

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